Azealia Banks' Controversial BET Awards Comments Hurt Women In Hip Hop, Including Banks Herself
If you missed hearing about Azealia Banks starting a major Twitter war with a new person every other day, have no fear. Banks is back at it igniting controversy and just in time for the BET Awards. On May 18 the BET Awards nominations were announced and included Azealia Banks in the list of nominatees for Best Female Hip Hop Artist, among her rapper foes Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea. Banks, who was not happy about her inclusion, went off about her gripes on her Twitter page. And as usual, she spared no one.
In a series of tweets, Banks took shots at the entire BET channel, Nicki Minaj's fans, and of course, one seemingly about Iggy Azalea. Banks called the BET awards "bogus," since the award has gone to Nicki Minaj for the past five years. She then posted a couple of tweets describing imagined violence toward Minaj's fans, who are known as "Barbs." She also threw in what seemed to be a surprisingly subtle (for her, at least) diss at Iggy Azalea about her rumored plastic surgery.
It is really a shame that Banks' tweets ended up taking such a violent turn. At this point, it feels like Banks is doing everything she can to entirely alienate herself from everything mainstream hip hop. In doing so, she is not only doing a disservice to herself, but also to women as a whole in the hip hop industry. Check out some "highlights" from her rant below.
Obviously, the rapper is showing that she is not interested in making any new friends in the hip hop world, which ultimately does a disservice to herself since it will limit her opportunity to open up to new fan bases. But she is not the only one that could be negatively affected by this rant. Her take-no-prisoners attitude on social media also limits opportunities for further discussion on topics that she at least appears to be passionate about, like lack of representation of women in the hip hop industry.
Her verbal attacks (toward mostly women, mind you) overshadow any useful conversations that could have been raised by her observations about the award shows. Her words could have potentially raised important questions about whether it is getting better or worse in the hip hop industry for women. After all, Banks does have a point about Minaj's many award wins. Even though there has been more visibility for new female rappers in the past few years, it is true that the awards and recognition often end up going to Nicki Minaj. It is worth exploring why that is, and Banks is not wrong to question it. It is just too bad that her controversial and insulting comments will likely overshadow the question.
It does not mean we should stop having those conversations. It just means that, sadly, Banks, will likely not be a useful part of them.
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